According to Saldana, the science-fiction genre (or, at least, movies set in space) is a place where women can be fuller individuals. “I don’t have to subject myself to just being the love interest or playing a character that doesn’t feel relevant to the story or playing a woman that doesn’t feel like an actual depiction of a real woman,” she explained, adding, “When I read films in space and I’m working with these kinds of filmmakers there’s a neutral sense to the way they develop characters. It makes me feel very significant, very relevant and very excited.” —Salon
We hear you, Zoe!
So this happened: Oh Dear: SFWA Bulletin Petition.
It's probably not of interest to anyone but science fiction literature fans. It's a continuation of the shenanigans that started last summer when several foolishly misogynistic things happened, one after the other, in the professional rag of the Science Fiction Writers of America, followed by a stunning piece of racism on the SFWA official Twitter (see timeline/summary here). The result was that most of the SFWA members voted to change the way the content management of the SFWA Bulletin would be handled.
The petition in question objects to the proposed changes, which the writers consider to be overly "PC." There were two versions of this document. The one that was actually submitted is a tough read, full of extracts from correspondence and invocations of Freedom of Speech and concluding with a quotation from Charlton Heston, who is cited as an "early civil rights activist." The earlier version, which is also available online, was positively appalling. At one point, the writer compared the hard-working writers who will be thoughtlessly slapped around by the new rules to slaves picking cotton, at the mercy of the folks in the Big House.
No, I am not kidding.
If you can make yourself do it, follow one of the links to the actual (final) petition, and take a look at the signatories.
Who happen to include someone for whom I've long had all the respect in the world.
There's something Seanan McGuire refuses to do to her characters ... and I think I need to check out her books now.
In the comments, nancylebov references a very interesting article from TOR: A need to deal wounds: Rape of men in Cherryh’s Union-Alliance novels. You should note that this is specifically the rape of male characters by female characters. The lead exhibits are Signy Mallory in Downbelow Station (spec. with regard to Josh Talley) and Ariane Emory I in Cyteen.
Please read the Readercon convention committee's statement on recent events.
Link, repost, retweet, signal-boost, however you share information on the internet. Thank you.
Summary: Harasser banned for life, apologies made to victims, Readercon board members resign (all of them), and Readercon now establishing much more detailed guidelines etc. for con behavior.
See first @ sovay but it's already making its way across the Intarwebs.
To quote Wikipedia (simply because it's convenient and seems to have the facts in order): "On May 17, 2012, [Anita] Sarkeesian began a Kickstarter campaign to fund a new series of short videos that would examine gender tropes in video games. The Kickstarter campaign was featured as a campaign of note on the official Kickstarter blog, and reached its funding goal of $6,000 within 24 hours, eventually raising $158,917 over the course of a month. It also received a large number of negative comments, including threats of death and rape, racial abuse, and an extended attempt to have the campaign suspended ... "
Hip-hop artist/video blogger Jay Smooth has some opinions on this:
This female person thanks you, Mr. Smooth!
The issues aren't always what we think they are. Neither are the consequences.
"My two kids at home were going to lose their mother because someone decided that my life was worth less than that of a fetus that wasn’t going to survive ... ."
Niall Harrison at Torque Control, the blog of the editorial staff of Vector, the critical journal of the British Science Fiction Association, wants to hear from you:
I therefore invite you all to email me your top ten sf novels by women from the last ten years (2001–2010). Again, science fiction, although I leave it up to your conscience to decide which, if any, books that excludes. And for this, I think, the books can have been published anywhere ... .
Read the whole column for details (including the e-mail link). Note especially that he wants books from the most recent decade (which leaves out many of my own favorites).
(From James Nicoll)